Champion Vequist Kicks Off Sophomore Season in Davona Dale

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Vequist | Breeders' Cup/Eclipse Sportswire

Eleven rivals will be waiting to take on recently crowned champion Vequist (Nyquist) in Saturday's GII Davona Dale S. going a one-turn mile at Gulfstream Park.

The GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies heroine, campaigned in partnership by Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and breeder Swilcan Stable, earned her diploma at second asking with a daylight tally in Saratoga's GI Spinaway S. Sept. 6. Second behind Dayoutoftheoffice (Into Mischief) as the 4-5 favorite in the GI Frizette S. at Belmont Oct. 10, she turned the tables on that rival with a two-length upset tally at 6-1 on the big stage at Keeneland most recently Nov. 6.

The Davona Dale 7-5 morning-line favorite has drawn post three. Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride.

“It was a box that I was never sure that I would check, training a champion, so it was nice to get that accomplished,” trainer Butch Reid, Jr. said. “She's doing really well. We're very happy with her. She's acclimated to the weather down here. We've been down here a couple of months already, so we've taken our time and so far, so good.”

Reid added, “I expect her to run well. We don't have the screws completely tightened for this one, but it should be a nice stepping-stone with some big races down the line in mind.”

Juddmonte homebred Millefeuille (Curlin), from the loaded female family of Broodmare of the Year Toussaud (El Gran Senor), has the look of a potential upsetter.

A smart maiden winner at second asking going this same distance at Belmont Oct. 23, she just got reeled in late by the unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' Malathaat (Curlin) after enjoying a clear lead in the stretch in the nine-furlong GII Demoiselle S. over a sloppy track last time Dec. 5. The bay fired a four-furlong warning shot in :48 4/5 (1/9) at Hall of Famer Bill Mott's Payson base Feb. 14.

Curlin's Catch (Curlin) looks to stay perfect on dirt while riding a two-race winning streak. After earning her diploma over track and trip at third asking Jan. 3, the Breeze Easy runner took care of business in Tampa's Suncoast S. most recently Feb. 6.

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